On Our Radar: Urban Garden

This Fairfax restaurant is full of classic and contemporary twists on Mediterranean food

Urban Garden Fairfax Mediterranean local
Fairfax's newest Mediterranean restaurant, Urban Garden, features local ingredients.

Updated Jul 25, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

Feeling sluggish after too many latkes and gingerbread men this season? Here’s a fast way to refresh your body in the New Year: head to the Fairfax District and try that Mediterranean diet you’ve been hearing so much about.

Urban Garden, brought to you by restaurateur George Abou-Daoud (Rosewood Tavern, The Bowery), is not your mama’s falafel joint (though dishes are inspired by Abou-Daoud’s mother’s home cooking). Featuring locally sourced ingredients and organic ones when possible—such as chickpeas, kale, spinach and parsley—Urban Garden offers a healthier twist to fast food with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

A guide to some lesser-known Middle Eastern delights on Urban Garden’s menu:

  • Lentil Mujadarra. Traditionally a rice-and-lentil dish, the Urban Garden version pairs protein-rich lentils with bulgur, caramelized onions and spices.
  • Lebneh with Zaatar. Lebneh is strained yogurt—similar to Greek yogurt—and it’s lower in fat and carbs than traditional yogurt. Zaatar is a green blend of spices traditionally including sumac; throughout the Middle East, sellers pride themselves in producing unique blends.
  • Fattoush. This salad is made with tomato, bell pepper, romaine, cucumber, sumac, red onion, olive oil, cracked pita bread, and parsley. While pita bread isn’t something we’d eat a lot of, it’s okay in moderation; Urban Garden also offers whole grain pitas as a side.
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves. Though you may have had a rice-heavy version elsewhere, these are veggie-enriched with chickpeas, tomato, parsley, onion, lemon juice and spices.

Join Club Med.

Urban Garden
446 N. Fairfax Ave.
Daily: 12-10pm
323 951-0990

“On Our Radar” features restaurants that might meet Clean Plates standards, but haven’t yet been thoroughly vetted and reviewed. For a directory of reviewed restaurants, see our Restaurant Finder.

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